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Police Checkpoint Aims to Keep Teens Safe in Canyon

Police Checkpoint Aims to Keep Teens Safe in Canyon

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Alex Cabrero ReportingSchool is over for many and the party is on. Thousands of high school students are celebrating tonight and law enforcement is ready for them.

Some of those students will have alcohol, and troopers hope to stop them before something bad happens. This graduation, they are putting a bigger presence at a popular spot: Butterfield Canyon.

There's probably no way of knowing how much alcohol is up Butterfield Canyon tonight, but after finding two open bottles in the first three cars stopped, deputies know there's a little less.

Det. Mike Ikemiyashiro, with the Taylorsville Police Department, said, "Definitely. I think people think that they're OK with an open container, but it's actually against the law."

Ikemiyashiro is part of a big police task force tonight hoping to make the roads a little safer by stopping those who, for some reason, drink and drive. "It's very upsetting. It's frustrating, it's something that can be prevented," he said.

They're especially ready tonight because they know there are a lot of high school graduation parties going on.

Lt. Jon Fassett with the Salt Lake County Sheriff's office told us, "Every year around this time, it seems like we have some kind of a tragedy."

The Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office says they're concentrating on Butterfield Canyon, near Herriman, because it's a popular place to party. "This is a canyon where a lot of the kids from the south part of the valley like to go up and have their keggers, start their bonfires and drink some beer." Lt. Fassett said.

Judging by how much has already been found, police know it could be a long night.

Lt. Fassett says, "For a lot of kids, they don't realize the danger. They don't realize how quickly you become impaired, and you can't drive any more."

There have been fatal accidents on that road before, which is why police are concentrating their efforts there. They also have a police dog on site to check for drugs.

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